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Does ORPEA Société Anonyme (EPA:ORP) Have A Place In Your Dividend Portfolio?

Simply Wall St

Today we'll take a closer look at ORPEA Société Anonyme (EPA:ORP) from a dividend investor's perspective. Owning a strong business and reinvesting the dividends is widely seen as an attractive way of growing your wealth. Yet sometimes, investors buy a popular dividend stock because of its yield, and then lose money if the company's dividend doesn't live up to expectations.

A slim 1.1% yield is hard to get excited about, but the long payment history is respectable. At the right price, or with strong growth opportunities, ORPEA Société Anonyme could have potential. Some simple analysis can offer a lot of insights when buying a company for its dividend, and we'll go through this below.

Explore this interactive chart for our latest analysis on ORPEA Société Anonyme!

ENXTPA:ORP Historical Dividend Yield, August 4th 2019

Payout ratios

Dividends are typically paid from company earnings. If a company pays more in dividends than it earned, then the dividend might become unsustainable - hardly an ideal situation. Comparing dividend payments to a company's net profit after tax is a simple way of reality-checking whether a dividend is sustainable. In the last year, ORPEA Société Anonyme paid out 35% of its profit as dividends. A medium payout ratio strikes a good balance between paying dividends, and keeping enough back to invest in the business. Besides, if reinvestment opportunities dry up, the company has room to increase the dividend.

Another important check we do is to see if the free cash flow generated is sufficient to pay the dividend. Of the free cash flow it generated last year, ORPEA Société Anonyme paid out 47% as dividends, suggesting the dividend is affordable. It's encouraging to see that the dividend is covered by both profit and cash flow. This generally suggests the dividend is sustainable, as long as earnings don't drop precipitously.

Is ORPEA Société Anonyme's Balance Sheet Risky?

As ORPEA Société Anonyme has a meaningful amount of debt, we need to check its balance sheet to see if the company might have debt risks. A rough way to check this is with these two simple ratios: a) net debt divided by EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation), and b) net interest cover. Net debt to EBITDA measures total debt load relative to company earnings (lower = less debt), while net interest cover measures the ability to pay interest on the debt (higher = greater ability to pay interest costs). ORPEA Société Anonyme has net debt of 8.36 times its EBITDA, which implies meaningful risk if interest rates rise of earnings decline.

Net interest cover can be calculated by dividing earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by the company's net interest expense. Interest cover of 4.24 times its interest expense is starting to become a concern for ORPEA Société Anonyme, and be aware that lenders may place additional restrictions on the company as well. High debt and weak interest cover are not a great combo, and we would be cautious of relying on this company's dividend while these metrics persist.

We update our data on ORPEA Société Anonyme every 24 hours, so you can always get our latest analysis of its financial health, here.

Dividend Volatility

One of the major risks of relying on dividend income, is the potential for a company to struggle financially and cut its dividend. Not only is your income cut, but the value of your investment declines as well - nasty. ORPEA Société Anonyme has been paying dividends for a long time, but for the purpose of this analysis, we only examine the past 10 years of payments. During this period the dividend has been stable, which could imply the business could have relatively consistent earnings power. During the past ten-year period, the first annual payment was €0.10 in 2009, compared to €1.20 last year. This works out to be a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 28% a year over that time.

It's rare to find a company that has grown its dividends rapidly over ten years and not had any notable cuts, but ORPEA Société Anonyme has done it, which we really like.

Dividend Growth Potential

Dividend payments have been consistent over the past few years, but we should always check if earnings per share (EPS) are growing, as this will help maintain the purchasing power of the dividend. ORPEA Société Anonyme has grown its earnings per share at 9.7% per annum over the past five years. It's good to see decent earnings growth and a low payout ratio. Companies with these characteristics often display the fastest dividend growth over the long term - assuming earnings can be maintained, of course.

Conclusion

When we look at a dividend stock, we need to form a judgement on whether the dividend will grow, if the company is able to maintain it in a wide range of economic circumstances, and if the dividend payout is sustainable. First, we like that the company's dividend payments appear well covered, although the retained capital also needs to be effectively reinvested. Second, it has a limited history of earnings per share growth, but at least the dividends have been relatively stable. Overall, we think there are a lot of positives to ORPEA Société Anonyme from a dividend perspective.

Companies that are growing earnings tend to be the best dividend stocks over the long term. See what the 13 analysts we track are forecasting for ORPEA Société Anonyme for free with public analyst estimates for the company.

Looking for more high-yielding dividend ideas? Try our curated list of dividend stocks with a yield above 3%.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.